Destroying the staircase, part 1

The original staircase was not built correctly. There are 15 risers. There are eight different heights for the risers.

Stair Rises

 

Steven was told by a previous owner that when they bought the house it was carpeted — orange shag. That owner ripped it out and put in the wood floors, possibly also refinishing the stairs with oak treads and risers made of MDF painted some off-white that yellowed over time. The oak was glued to the top of the staircase framing, instead of rebuilding that framing to compensate for the additional height of the one-inch thick treads.

As a result, the stairs do not meet building code. We’re way outside the permissable variables — not with all the changes in elevation. Your foot does not know where to plant safely.

To fix this, we need more run — the horizontal distance the stairs travel from first riser on the first floor to the landing in the hallway at the top of the stairs.

The only way to get that additional run is to extend the front of the house forward about four feet. See the first floor plan. This is the only place we are adding square feet to the house.

Today, Cris and Kevin from Ranserve pried off the oak treads using pry bars, hammers and human muscle. See photo above.

Cris shows the underside of one of the oak treads after it was removed. Not enough glue.
Cris shows the underside of one of the oak treads after it was removed. Not enough glue.
Kevin takes out the last remaining tread. The landing behind him was removed weeks ago.
Kevin takes out the last remaining tread. The landing behind him was removed weeks ago. The oak treads and MDF risers will be stored in the garage for donation to Habitat.

Ranserve is leaving in place the rough framing of the staircase until after the electrical inspection that is called for Thursday/tomorrow. After that, Ron, Cris and Kevin will dismantle the staircase and build new. To code. Correctly.

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Digging ditch for new water line

We are converting what was a water closet — toilet only — with an adjacent utility sink in what was the laundry room and garage entry — into a full bath.

As a result, building code now requires that we increase the water line to the house from the street to one inch in diameter, up from three-quarters.

Barry Samsel from Custom Plumbing arrived today with a chain-type trencher, checked the flags that marked out the gas and existing water lines, climbed into the seat, set blades to dirt and grass.

The crew continued with shovel and spade, by hand, so as to not cut the existing lines. Hard labor in 102 degree heat. Barry said he will repair a sprinkler line he cut …

DSC_2812

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